Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the Election, and Why It’s Not the End of the World

15 04 2008

It’s Democratic primary season. This primary season has been nasty among Democrats, with in-fighting, poo-flinging, hyperbole, people threatening to leave the party if their candidate doesn’t win the nomination, and all kinds of stuff that’s making me want to bang my head against a wall.

Really, it’s frustrating.

And maybe it’s being Canadian that gives me some perspective on it all. But I think the Barack vs. Hillary race to the finish, complete with the nastiness of some of each candidate’s supporters is way out of hand. It’s overblown. It’s, essentially, creating drama over something which doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.

Did I just say that? Yes I did.

And before you call me a Hillbot, an Obama cult member, a Shrillary lover, or an Obama Kool-Aid drinker, consider this. I’m actually quite nonpartisan when it comes to the Democratic presidential candidates. Neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton were my first choice were president. If you must know, I initially supported Dennis Kucinich. And, quite frankly, both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton have done quite a few things to piss me off. And they’ve also each done some things that made me happy. I don’t love either of them, and I don’t believe they are gods. Neither do I think they are the spawn of Satan. They are people with flaws.

And don’t get me started on this tokenistic bullshit of “black man for president vs. woman for president.” I thought I was going to puke when I saw a report on CNN asking black women who they were going to vote for. Yes, it’s high time we had some diversity in the White House. But don’t reduce complex political issues to superficial identity politics. It’s insulting.

But I digress.

My point is this: I want to see a progressive in the White House. Honestly, I don’t find either candidate quite progressive enough for my liking, and as stated before, I certainly do not agree with everything they say. But what angers me is when overly partisan supporters of either candidate say that they will vote Republican, not vote, or vote for some inconsequential third-party candidate, if their candidate of choice doesn’t win.

What?

I want a progressive in the White House. I do not want John McCain as president, and I cannot believe that my fellow progressives would help him win an election.

So, Obama supporters, Hillary supporters, and everyone else who is about to pop a vein over the primaries: calm down. Let’s get a Democrat in the White House. I’m not especially fond of either candidate, but either candidate would certainly be the lesser of two evils.

It’s going to be a long election season.

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4 responses

16 04 2008
Bryce

I’m a Victorian buff, and to me, a progressive is not a good thing at all. It’s someone, especially a politician, who wants to make every non-comforming trait of humanity into a disorder and treat “unisexuals” with shock therapy – someone who, if you asked them their purpose on this planet, would include in their answer the words “morality” and “degenerates”. I blame progressives for everything from our bureaucratic school systems to the pathetic state of modern poetry.
Obviously, I know your personal philosophy is very different from my concept of progressivism. I’d like to know what the modern concept of progressivism is. Could you explain?

16 04 2008
missnomered

I was thinking progressive as in free-thinking, liberal, anti-oppression ideology. Most of the modern progressive movement is essentially the opposite of what you described : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivism . Pretty much, the ideology of, say, the Democratic Party, or the Liberal or New Democratic parties in Canada.

Thank you for pointing that out to me, though. There’s definitely been a big political shift in the last 100 years – keep in mind that the Republican party used to be more fundamentally libertarian, and used to have the vast majority of its votes coming from the Northeastern states. So, I suppose, political terms have a different meaning now than they did back then. Do hear what you are saying, though – what I meant was “Democratic”. Although, theoretically, if there was a Green or a left-wing independent running that had a chance of winning, that would be nice too.

I think you got the gist of what I was saying, though.

Do people ever tell you you are way smart?

18 04 2008
Tirade

But… but… but… I want MY candidate to win. *temper tantrum in 3… 2… 1…*

Seriously, I’m not a fan of either one… but if the choice is between someone who I’m not a fan of vs. a Republican who is trying to ‘stay the course’ that we’ve been going down for the last 8 years… then I think the choice is fairly easy.

5 05 2008
Are You Fruity?

A belated thank you for explaining the “progressive” thing to me…thanks very much, that makes so much more sense! It certainly is interesting how these things change. We haven’t gotten farther than Antebellum in American History, but I have the general idea that the Democrats used to be the racist segment of the country. Huge flip-flopping going on. I suppose it would be helpful if I stopped identifying ideas so directly with words…words are only temporary…ideas are forever.

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